Meet the Author: Molly CollinsPhysical Education Teacher | Head Softball CoachPLT4M Coaches Club MemberAuthor of multiple articles featured on PLT4MWhen reality sunk in that the spring season was cancelled, Coach Collins wanted to a find a way to bring the athletes and coaches of her conference together. Here is how she is doing it. Covid 19 – Virtual Season – Michigan’s Interstate 8 Conference Virtual Softball Season…What?When I got news of the spring season being canceled, I wanted to find a way for my student-athletes to still have fun, compete, and exemplify what sports are really about. Within our conference, we have been working to create a culture based on sportsmanship and exceptional competition. So why not still compete and highlight our student-athletes just on a different scale? I had a brainstorm for a virtual season and instantly texted my captains. They were in from there, and I recruited help from one of my students. They were even able to put me in contact with some of the other players from other teams. My thought was, it’s for the girls, so if I get them on board, we are set. Which they were! Then the emails started with the I8 Conference Athletic Directors. One after another, “We are in!” started pouring in. From there, I was highly committed, and the girls and I went to work. …How?The conference schedule remains the same in terms of the order in which everyone plays, just that the days are different. “Games” happen Monday-Thursday for five weeks via social media on Instagram and Twitter and Facebook. Some “game” winners will be determined by the public vote others will be determined by the performance of the student-athletes and coaches. Yes, I said coaches, don’t sleep on us! Each team has 2-3 skill-related “games” and 4-5 non-skill-related “games.” Coach Collins, but what are “the games?” Great question! A couple examples are Tik Tok Dance Challenges, Minute to Win It Games, Throwing Accuracy Contest, Speed Races, etc. Our goal is to have fun and create a positive competitive culture for our conference. The more we establish a positive competitive environment with our opponents, the greater the experience on and off the field is for the athletes. One of the best things I got from travel sports growing up in a small conference was the connections with coaches and other athletes. Once connections formed, I started playing with the best girls in the area and state in return, making me a better, more well-rounded athlete/person. It made competing in regular school season play that much more exciting when I knew other players and coaches. That is what sports is all about, making real-life connections to make you a better person. Check out how PLT4M partners with over 1,000 schools for fitness education.Request A DemoThe Schedule The “Games” ….Well You’ll Have To Tune In For That! Oh and the twist …as the win loss record starts to develop. Teams can challenge opponents to other challenges of their choice to try and move up in the ranks. What you can find on social media @i8_softballmi In addition to a virtual season, this is a platform for us to highlight and honor our seniors. Senior spotlights to get to know our athletes will be posted weekly. We will also post videos and highlights from teams throughout the season. And of course, the best of the sport resources to get high quality information for athletes from the likes of The Package Deal, Church in the Dirt, Defense Club by Morgan Stuart, Brickwall Softball by Nyree White, Game Changers by Natasha Watley, Jen Schro Catching, Softball Strength Academy, and so much more.